Adam Lind makes sense for the Washington Nationals. It is no secret that the Nationals need some help on offense, especially in the outfield. Injuries have hit the Nationals hard with Mike Morse and Jayson Werth both going down for an extended time. Morse is still trying to recover from a strained lat muscle he sustained in Spring Training but could be back as early as June 1st. The question regarding Morse will be what player are the Nats going to get, the one from last year or from 2010? Jayson Werth is likely out until August, leaving a gaping hole in the Nationals lineup. With Bryce Harper still an unknown commodity, it makes sense for the Nationals to acquire Adam Lind from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Lind was put on outright waivers by the Blue Jays on Saturday. This means that any team that puts a claim on him obtains his services and assumes Lind’s contract. Lind is guaranteed $5 million this year and next with three club options which guarantee another $3.5 million. That might seem like a lot of money to take on but the Nationals have shown a willingness to spend lately and adding someone with Lind’s track record and his ability to play the outfield and first base might make sense for a team in search of its first playoff appearance in team history.
Lind is still only 28 and won’t turn 29 years-old until July 17th. He has exhibited some very good power numbers over the last three years, blasting 35 in 2009, 23 in 2010, and 26 in 2011. Granted, Lind hasn’t been as productive as he was in 2009 when he looked like he was about to become one of the best young hitters in baseball. However, I believe he is still a very good hitter who can add some punch to any lineup and makes sense for the Nationals because he will come relatively cheaply, either through a waiver claim or by giving up a B-type prospect.
Right now, the Nationals lineup is heavy on right-handed hitters. Ryan Zimmerman, Mike Morse, Jayson Werth, and Ian Desmond are all right-handed. Only Adam LaRoche, Bryce Harper, Rick Ankiel, Danny Espinosa, Steve Lombardozzi, and Roger Bernadina offer anything from the left side of the plate. Aside from Harper and LaRoche, there aren’t many threatening lefty bats in that lineup. Adding Lind will at least give the Nationals an added lefty punch.
By today’s standards, Lind’s contract isn’t absurd or bank-breaking. If he can resort to being the hitter he was one or two years ago it is a fair market price for a player who should be entering the prime of his career. The Nationals could play Lind in either left field or at first base while waiting for Morse and Werth to return from their injuries. It will also guard against injury to LaRoche, who hasn’t exactly been an ironman, although he is healthy and productive this year. Adding Lind would only benefit the Nationals moving forward, at the very least as a bat coming off the bench getting occasional starts at first base or in the outfield and at DH in American League parks. Right now it makes some sense to take the flyer on Lind and worry about logjams at different positions later on because all too often they never create the problems many think they will because of injuries down the line. The Nationals should pull the trigger and get Adam Lind.